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No beating about the bush.
Intuit Inc has launched a personal finance money-managing software package that will help subscribers to track spending and save money
Intuit Inc, a US-based software solutions company which develops software for the financial segment, has launched a personal finance software package for affluent Indian customers. The software, called ‘Intuit Money Manager’, keeps track of all bank accounts, plans budgets, helps to save tax and avoids late payments. Subscribers have to pay a rupee daily for this software.
Intuit claims that the software will help subscribers to handle their bank accounts, credit cards, stock portfolios and manage money. “We think that we can provide the best solution in terms of managing a customer’s money, because we have 25 years of experience of serving 40 million people across the globe to help them save and make money. Out of 40 million, 15 million of them are specifically in the personal finance domain,” said Umang Bedi, managing director, Intuit India.
The company started its operations in India four years back with a team of 19 employees. The software went live in January 2010. Before that, the company tested the software by launching a beta version for around four months. Intuit India has already invested $45 million in its Indian operations.
The company also carried out a survey with a sample size of 1,000 people between 25 years-above 40 years. “While conducting the survey, we found some common pain-points in customers while they were managing their money. People could not accurately judge their net-worth at any given point of time,” said Mr Bedi.
The survey also indicated that people in the age group of 25 years-30 years usually ended up cashless by the 28th of any month. This made them borrow and make late payments on various bills. People who were above 30 years were the ones looking to invest, and those surveyed who were above 40 years were busy tracking their returns. But this group was finding it difficult to keep track of investments and returns.
“They all had disjointed and manual means of doing it (tracking investments) either on a notebook or an Excel sheet. That was the inspiration behind Intuit Money Manager. We decided to introduce the software and then we came up with a bold vision that we wanted to be the money manager for every ‘mass affluent’ Indian,” said Mr Bedi.
The product comes with a 90-day free trial. It operates on a daily subscription model of Re1 (Rs 365 annually). But if you like the software within 15 days of trial, you can subscribe to it for Rs 249 annually.
The target audience for the software comprises individuals who earn Rs5 lakh- Rs10 lakh annually. “Our philosophy was to make the solution very affordable,” claimed Mr Bedi.
The company has submitted a fresh requirement for coal blocks to the government, but is still undecided over the Chhattisgarh block
Binani Cement Ltd plans to invest around Rs52 million in coal blocks. However, the company has still has no plans for its existing coal block in Chhattisgarh.
Cement companies are allotted coal blocks by the Central government for captive industrial use. Binani Cement Ltd was also allotted one such coal block in Bisrampur, Chhattisgarh in 2008.
Commenting on the status of this block, Vinod Juneja, managing director, Binani Group of Industries said, “We have asked the government to give us some more time, we are still thinking of what to do with this particular block.”
A press release from Binani stated that if the government develops infrastructure, Binani would invest Rs52 million in coal blocks.
“These (proposed projects) would be coal blocks in India,” said Mr Juneja. On the timeline for these proposed investments, Mr Juneja said that his company would like them to happen in the “fastest possible” time.
The company has also submitted a fresh requirement for coal blocks to the Central government. The number of coal blocks required has been decided depending on the need for the next thirty years.
The cement industry, with a current capacity of 198.3 million tonnes of cement, uses around 12 million tonnes of coal—accounting for 30% of the total cost of cement production.
However, coal blocks allotted by the government in the recent past have been marred by their own share of controversies. Moneylife had earlier reported that mining activities have not started in the block allotted to GMR Energy in January 2008 due to hurdles in environmental clearances. However, the GMR group does not expect this to affect its ongoing Orissa power project.
Similarly, Adani Power Ltd was denied environmental clearance for two coal blocks in Lohara, Maharashtra. The coal block was expected to fuel Adani’s power project at Gondia (Maharashtra), expected to commence operations by 2011. In fact, Mr Juneja admitted that Binani was still “working out” the environmental and forest clearances required for its allotted block at Chhattisgarh.
Other cement companies who were allotted coal blocks in 2008 and 2009 are Birla Corporation, Revathy Cement, JK Cement, Dalmia Cement and Ambuja Cement.